Portraying the New Negro in Art Essay

Portraying the New Negro in Art Essay

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During the late 19th and 20th centuries Blacks in America were debating on the proper way to define and present the Negro to America. Leaders such as Alain Lock, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, and Tuskegee University founder Booker T. Washington all had ideas of a New Negros who was intellectually smart, politically astute, and contributors to society in trade work. All four influential leaders wrote essays to this point of the new Negro and their representations in art and life. In “Art or Propaganda”, Locke pleas not for corrupt or overly cultured art but for art free to serve its own ends, free to choose either "group expression" or "individualistic expression.” (National Humanities Center) In W.E.B. Du Bois speech "Criteria for Negro Art" to the 1926 Conference of the NAACP in Chicago, he argues not for narrow literature that bashes the reader with a social message but for art that works on behalf of racial advancement, organizing "Truth" to promote "universal understanding" and "Goodness" to produce "sympathy and human interest." (National Humanities Center)
In the “Atlanta Compromise” speech by Booker T. Washington, he states “Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man’s chance in the commercial world, and in nothing is this Exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance.” They all sought for the Negro to embrace who he/she is and expand his/her thoughts in the world. The Black middle class Americans sought to change the Sambo, Coon, Pickannany, Uncle, and Mammy...


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3. Wolfskill, Phoebe. "Caricature and the New Negro in the Work of Archibald Motley Jr. and Palmer Hayden." Art Bulletin 91.3 (2009): 343-365. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 31 May 2010.
4. Harris, Michael. “Colored Pictures Race & Visual Representation.” University of North Carolina Press. Copyright 2003.
5. Mooney, Amy M. “Archibald J. Motley Jr.” The David C. Driskell Series of African American Art: Volume IV. Pomegranate San Francisco. Copyright 2004
6.Morgan, I. "10. Writing, in PROTEST, The Making of African American Identity: Vol. III, 1917-1968, Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature, Toolbox Library, National Humanities Center." National Humanities Center - Welcome to the National Humanities Center. National Humanities Center. Web. 23 May 2007.
7.Locke, Alain L. "P. 69." Negro Art. Past and Present. New York: Albany, 1936. 69. Print.

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